Last year one of those wonderful occasions came about. The kind of thing you daydream about now and again throughout the course of your young life. My sister got engaged! And, to my surprise and delight, she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. I‘ve never been a bridesmaid before and, with my friends and cousins mostly married now, I doubt I ever will be again. You’d think then that I‘d give this once in a lifetime opportunity my all. That was the plan.
From the moment I said yes, my mind was filled with scenarios involving flights to Dublin to go dress shopping with her, to try on bridesmaids dresses and shoes, to plan the hen, to view venues. In short it was one steady flow of soft light, pale colours, clinking Prosecco glasses and gasps at how beautiful my sister would when she tried on the perfect dress.
I should have known better. As I know from planning my own wedding, it is a tough job involving a lot of calculations and bickering over guest lists and seating plans. There just isn’t much time for slurping bubbly and chatting to your best friends. At the time of our wedding, my sister lived 15 minutes from us here in Germany. We spoke every day. We went dress shopping, even when it seemed like a chore. She took on a gift list for us and even bought lots of guests‘ gifts for them so they wouldn’t have to haul them over to Germany with them. She was a sounding board for ideas and an outlet for frustrations. She was my only bridesmaid and the best one I could have hoped for.
In return I am doing a miserable job. Apart from helping to organise the hen and picking a pair of shoes out for myself, I haven’t been all that much help. The difference between then and now is that there were no children yet. No school runs to try to delegate in order to fly home. No having to fly anywhere in fact because we lived so close to one another. Over the course of her engagement I have sworn to myself countless times that I will get my act together and for the hen I did. But time kept ticking on after that and my good intentions were kicked out of the way by the demands of family life, work and other commitments. Now I have nine days to remedy that. It’s not much time.
But time it is, nevertheless. On Wednesday I’ll finish up at work. The Bavarian will take on full responsibility for Number One and Number Two once Number Three and I leave for the airport. I’ll shake off my busy working mother cloak and go into full bridemaid mode with a mission to spend 48 hours taking care of the bride. So I have till Wednesday to hatch a plan. At the back of my mind I’ve an idea or two of how to help and begin building up a wedding feeling. I can’t reveal them here in case my sister reads this. Unlikely since she is up to her eyes in wedding stuff, but still.
So I’m calling all past brides and bridesmaids to let me know what wonderful, helpful, extraordinary or loving things did you have done for you or did you do that made your wedding extra special or took a load off your shoulders. If you’ve any tips at all, please leave a comment below. I’d love some inspiration right now.